While standard photolithography methods have proven themselves in semiconductor applications, they have fundamental limitations when considered for the fabrication of advanced micro/nanosystems (MEMS/NEMS). MEMS and NEMS often use “soft” materials such as polymers and functional chemical layers and include 3D surface topography or mechanically fragile parts that are incompatible with standard lithography processing. The stencil method is based on selective deposition of material through shadow masks (resistless). The patterns are transferred to a substrate in a single process step, potentially in a non-contact mode. These specifics make the stencil method applicable to 3D surfaces and surfaces that are either mechanically unstable, such as cantilevers and membranes, and/or functionalised for e.g. bio-sensor applications.